That’s right, I said it. There’s no use denying it: We can’t help but want things. But I think that when we vilify wanting, all we do is shame ourselves. I want to turn that around, and proudly proclaim: wanting is a minimalist trait.
Wanting more is what sparks all progress. Think about it: Wanting more freedom led to the creation of cars, maps, the United States. Wanting more convenience led to refrigerators, cell phones, irrigation systems. Wanting more adventure led to diving equipment, space travel, frequent flier miles. No matter how big or small the technology, the desire for more has driven humans to invent it.
In fact, minimalism goes one step further than wanting more: It insists on more.
When you want more—when you insist on more—you accomplish more. Focusing all your energy into the pursuit of what you desire doesn’t leave room for the stuff around the edges. By wanting more than what you have now, you make a choice against laziness. You free up your resources to create memories, not collections. You aim to be, not to own. You follow your dreams. You effect progress.
Our upcoming cross-country move comes at a strange time in our lives. My husband has a job in his field and supports us both, while I do contract writing work. His job helps pay for him to take programming classes, which he excels at. We live in a reasonably priced apartment, eat well, and travel occasionally. We’re stable.
But we want more.
I want a full-time job in marketing. I want Justin to be able to follow his dream. Justin wants to make more money (not a huge priority of mine, but useful). We want a yard for our dog. We want to be able to live abroad. We want to be closer to family. We want to be someplace different. We want a new adventure. And ultimately we decided that even though a move is pretty destabilizing, it will ultimately help us achieve all of those desires.
We still have a lot to figure out in Seattle: jobs, our own residence, etc. But moving motivates us to reexamine how we’re going about our goals. This is a chance to actively pursue what we want, even if it means we’re going to sacrifice some things for a little while. And I think we want it enough to make it happen.
What are you seeking? What do you want more of? How are you working to make it happen?